Sunday, March 8, 2009
It seems like we live and die here on the farm by adages. One old adage goes that "it will rain in sight of 3 days if the sun goes down behind a cloud bank on Sunday evening." We're waiting to see what the sunset brings. Another old adage goes "all weather signs fail in dry weather." Well we've certainly seen our share of that lately. All my life I have been warned to watch out for greenbugs in the wheat when it gets dry. We'll that's come true too. These bugs are starting to devestate the already drought sticken wheat plants. Here's a stock picture of a greenbug (aphid) that has made its home on our wheat.
When rain won't come here on the prairie the wheat reaches a critical point that will result in one of two things. Either the wheat will find moisture stored in the soil below its roots and sink them down further to sustain itself. Or the wheat will simply wither and die. Time has yet to tell what will happen. We have waited in hopes for life giving moisture, but it hasn't come yet. We've gone from having the wettest August in history (the month before wheat was planted) to having the driest stretch that can be remembered by my dad and he's 73.
In fact our area has been charred with one of the largest wildfires in modern history. This occured on the hills and canyons just north of here in Dewey county. This county is known for is spectacular grass where cattle graze on its abundance. Late last week, at least two towns in Dewey County (Taloga & Putnam) were evacuated as a result of the fires. Reports have come in that many cattle have been lost as a result of these raging fires and at least 4 homes. I heard by reliable people that 3 supertanker airplanes were brought in to dump chemicals and water on the fire to help put it out and an Oklahoma Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter equipped with a big bucket has been helping the over 90 different fire departments across our area. Much appreciation is owed to these courageous people who put their lives on the line. We are grateful. Only one firefighter has been injured so far. He was released after being treated for smoke inhalation. Reports have also surfaced that over 100,000 acres have burned during this fire.
In a somewhat related incident, I was checking for greenbugs on a farm west of our house. I had noticed that our neighbors were intending to take off in their 2 seater airplane. I saw the plane up in the air and then turn and head back another direction sharply. Then I heard the noise of it landing or so I thought. After checking for bugs and much to my worry finding them chewing away, I headed on to check another field. I drove not too far from the site where my friends and neighbors had to make an emergency landing. When their wheels touched down, the front one caught and flipped the plane over on its top. One neighbor was unhurt and his passenger had a big knot on his head and had to have a few stitches. These fellow farmers were on their way up to Dewey county to check on the fires.
So much for a quite weeek on the farm.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Found the camera from the posting I mentioned in the past update. Actually daddy found it hanging on a fence post. It must have stayed there 2 or 3 days. Well here's one of the calves we had. We have to check on them so much that I can walk among them at night and walk right beside them and they don't even get up. If you ever get the experience of calving heifers, it is well worth your patience to see this picture below:
Now don't think we don't have our share of problems, but usually things turn out just right like this newborn calf here:
A lot of the credit goes to this fellow here:
Under Papa's watchful eye, nothing gets missed. He might turn into being a full time calving expert. Too bad we can't afford to pay him what he's worth.